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Importance of Diameter Control on Selective Synthesis of Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

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journal contribution
posted on 26.08.2014, 00:00 by Jinghua Li, Chung-Ting Ke, Kaihui Liu, Pan Li, Sihang Liang, Gleb Finkelstein, Feng Wang, Jie Liu
The coexistence of semiconducting and metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) during synthesis is one of the major bottlenecks that prevent their broad application for the next-generation nanoelectronics. Herein, we present more understanding and demonstration of the growth of highly enriched semiconducting SWNTs (s-SWNTs) with a narrow diameter distribution. An important fact discovered in our experiments is that the selective elimination of metallic SWNTs (m-SWNTs) from the mixed arrays grown on quartz is diameter-dependent. Our method emphasizes controlling the diameter distribution of SWNTs in a narrow range where m-SWNTs can be effectively and selectively etched during growth. In order to achieve narrow diameter distribution, uniform and stable Fe–W nanoclusters were used as the catalyst precursors. About 90% of as-prepared SWNTs fall into the diameter range 2.0–3.2 nm. Electrical measurement results on individual SWNTs confirm that the selectivity of s-SWNTs is ∼95%. The present study provides an effective strategy for increasing the purity of s-SWNTs via controlling the diameter distribution of SWNTs and adjusting the etchant concentration. Furthermore, by carefully comparing the chirality distributions of Fe–W-catalyzed and Fe-catalyzed SWNTs under different water vapor concentrations, the relationship between the diameter-dependent and electronic-type-dependent etching mechanisms was investigated.